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Saturday, January 28, 2012


I have to love you, but I don't have to like you.

That particular thought popped into my head while thinking about a friend's wife. I like most people, but some people, you just can't be around. You feel like you're standing on eggs, always having to watch your back lest they stick a two-foot kitchen knife in it. In short, you can't trust them to act rationally. At least most of the time. Or enough of the time that creates a satisfactory comfort level. We all do irrational shit every now and then, but for the most part, you know how someone you trust is going to act. It's not a concern. Now maybe someone else can help the alleged individual get their shit together, but for whatever reason, you can't. So you avoid them for the most part. Not because you don't love them, you just don't like them.

We all give off what I like to call a "trust vibe". And if you're tuned into it, you know right away how much you can trust someone, and also how much farther you can push the "comfort level" of it once that trust is established. Some people you can trust with your life. Hopefully you have some of those people close around you, but if not, I assure you, they're out there. Just get your trust barometer dusted off and see what I mean. Just don't forget to point it at yourself though every now and then.

So, yeah, we can love someone and at the same time and still not want to be within a million miles of their presence. I actually think that's what God invented distance for. "You don't like your brother or sister? Well okay, here's an infinite universe, go play on the other side of it for a while until you two can stop fighting." Of course, the other side of it is compulsive behavior, stalkers, people who just can't possibly fathom there could be another way of seeing things other than the their own. ...Hopefully angels intercede for thee if so. Anyway...

I could trust McMullen. And he delivered the money when he said he would. The first hundred and twenty five-grand in the trunk of the car just before I fled the country, and the second, by believe it not, postal mail. I breathed a huge sign of relief when I opened the bread box-sized package from postman and found the wads of hundred dollar bills shoved into the empty packs of playing cards. I started gathering packs about a month before the escape, from the gymnasium in the jail. Java kept asking me why I needed so many decks of playing cards. I forget what I said and he didn't care anyway, as he was more concerned anyway with the weekly payments I was making on my ungodly mountain of gambling debt. It was his comfy job to drive to Atlantic City though once a month and pick up hundreds of old used playing decks of cards donated from the casinos for the inmates. A few dozen packs weren't going to be missed, as there were literal hundreds and hundreds stacked in the back closet of his old musty rec office. And like everything else in the jail, there was no official count or accurate inventory kept of them. Least not one that, like everything else, couldn't be manipulated or fudged to cover up any missing items in question. There's more stuff stolen in a jail than stolen on the street. If ain't nailed down in there, you better not expect to see it the next day you walk in looking for it, 'cause chances are it'll be gone faster than a duck fart in a hurricane.